August 10, 2020
Tech Policy and the 2020 Election, Part 1 – Broadband Policy
President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have both voiced support for investing further in America’s internet infrastructure. In a new insight, AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston outlines each candidate’s proposal for increasing broadband investment, closing the “digital divide,” and encouraging American leadership in the race to 5G.
The United States has a strong internet infrastructure, but to continue its innovative trajectory it also must maintain a policy environment that does not erect costly regulatory barriers. With any effort to expand internet access and close the digital divide, adoption of broadband and explanation of the benefits of connectivity are as critical to its economic impact as access. Comparing the costs and benefits of potential investments and the specific needs of communities to close the digital divide and improve connectivity will require a variety of policy options to address the specific needs of local communities. Federally directed policies for specific communities and publicly run broadband can be costly gambles with benefits better realized by private investment and innovative alternatives.